The spirit within 


It was ten years ago today. I was the new girl at Proviso West High school, and well into the second month of my Junior year. The school I had just come from was out of control environment I couldn't thrive in. I decided to use my cousin's address, who stayed in the suburbs to attend school in her district to give myself a more promising future than my mother could provide. On my first day, my counselor introduced me to a beautiful girl named Corrine Anderson. She was the best candidate to show me around the school. Everyday she made an effort to help navigate our big high school so that I would make it to each class on time. We also shared a few classes together like our last period fashion. She introduced me to her friends during her lunch period tho I didn't feel they excepted me, she didn't care if they did because she did. I only spoke to Corrine and another girl named Samantha, Until one first period this fabulous girl came breezing in wearing her dazzling red and silver majorette uniform. I was blown away. She wore colored contacts and her hair was always laid. She started telling me about this trip she just came back from a band battle in Atlanta, and telling me I should try out for her team. I had never heard of anything so exciting. What ever team she was apart of, I was down. It wasn't long before I found out Dashawn Morris and Corrine were close friends. I needed a job because I wasn't living with parents like the rest of my peers. Corrine worked at a Mcdonalds in the Berkeley neighborhood, and since she put in the good word for me, I was able to land my first job there too. Sometimes I would even catch a ride with her. I had finally tired out for that team Dashawn and Corrine was telling me about, the Proviso West Diamonds. I also made the team like they said I would. It was going to be our first practice together. Corrine and I had spent our last period fashion class together. Everyone in her click decided to wear all black because we were going to go trick or treating as a group. We had practice first and the rest of the school still had 8th period to finish. So in that time I went in a little room next to the band room to play on the piano while Corrine chatted in the band room with her close friends across the hall. I still felt they didn't like me so decided to stay out the way. Dashawn and her best friend came down the hall with so much energy saying they were going to Wendy's before practice. I was hesitant to go because it seemed a lot of people wanted to ride and I was the new girl, and didn't want to feel like I was taking any ones place. Corrine understood. She said she wasn't going to leave me there by myself, and that she would stay with me if I decided to stay. That moment I felt I would be super lame if I stayed, and seen she really wanted to go. I agreed. How could I turn her smile down. We pilled up in Dashawn's car and made it safely to our destination. Dashawn had to drop off her friend and we all ordered and sat down. I had a spicy chicken sandwich and got Corrine a milkshake. She was specific about the flavor too. The rest of my peers begin to question me like where was I from but kept it brief. Dashawn was back and we all got back into her car. I remember pacing back and forth behind the car not knowing which side to get in on. Heading back to our school, we went over an elevated train track and somehow I woke up on the edge of a street curb with Dashawn's best friend screaming for her mother with blood dripping down her face. It was too much for me. I remember laying my head down on praying hands and curling up like a fetus to go to sleep. I thought I was dreaming. I woke up in an ambulance breathing so hard my back was lifting up off the stretcher. I thought I was just having a really bad asthma attack. They asked for an emergency contact and all I could say was 7082577605 over and over until I told myself ok, this is it. This is my last breath. I closed my eyes yet watch the doctor panic to revive me. I finally woke up from a cold breeze as the were transporting me to a hospital that could better assist me. As the doors flung open I could see what it looked like to be my whole school and news reporters on the left and right of me. They rushed me in and I blacked out again. The last time I woke up I was in a hospital bed. One of my other peers in the accident had a bloody hand pacing around my bed in panic as I slowly opened my eyes. I saw the blood, and immediately started throwing up. I had no idea what was going on. All I could think of is what did I just eat, and I must've had one hell of an asthma attack because my mother was there. And one thing I knew is she did not like going to the hospital to see me when I was sick. She was at peace tho. First thing she asked when I woke up is do you want to see your face? I didn't. I was overwhelmed. I looked in the the mirror to see my eye swollen shut the size of a tennis ball. My nose was broken and skull was fractured. I asked what happen but everyone was in the room standing around me in silence. My mom then asked, do you want to see the news? She turned it on and I still didn't understand what was going on. I was getting frustrated. I saw Corrine standing in my door way waving good bye. It started to come back to me. I started to remember I was just with Corrine whatever I was doing. I began to ask where was she, and is she OK, as the doctors told me everyone is fine and to calm down and get some rest. Look at the vehicle on t.v., I wondered how we got out and they said I'll never meet the man who pulled us out of the car before it burst into flames because he's an immigrant, and at the time they were being haunted like evil criminals. It wasn't until I was fully conscious that they told me Dashawn and Corrine passed over. I didn't know what to feel. I was in shock for a while, even at the funeral, I didn't get to get a last look at them. It was too hard. The only real friends I'd ever had. I had people coming into my room that I didn't even know saying they were my friends, only to makeup rumors about me once I got back to school. They said things like I didn't care about the girls only myself. Some didn't realize it was me who was in the accident said I got beat up by my boyfriend because of my black eye, my job even thought we were playing games to miss work. I had a few friends left like Quita, who Corrine introduced me to, and a few real ones I needed to survive as the years went by. Corrine and Dashwan were gone, but that didn't stop me from doing what we were going to do together.. Corrine's spirit that keeps House of Kisses going for me. she wanted to be a designer, and that was her last class, our last class together. My boss diva spirit is inspired by Dashawn... Before them I had no dreams. I had an apartment on the west side of Chicago at 17, and in love with drug dealers. before them, only future I thought was possible for me was a single baby momma on welfare. My peers looked up to my dedication and what I went through just to go to school everyday, but it was just preparation for today. The distance I've had to travel to be in the position i'm in today. Those two girls impacted me in the little time I knew them more than anyone had impacted me in my entire life. Let your spirits live through love and your bodies rest in peace. I love you angles.


Chicago, IL United States | Lureise Ryan | | Call 312-600-8202